"Wheel of Fortune" (TV show) is America's #1 game show and the longest-running syndicated game show in United States television history. Hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White, the series won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show at the 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 2011.

Since its debut in 1983, the show has awarded more than $190 million in cash and prizes to its contestants. More than 10,000 people try out each year and fewer than 600 lucky contestants are selected to appear on the show. Since 1988, the show has taped in 58 locations, in 25 different cities, in front of live audiences totaling more than 350,000 fans. The puzzle board contains 52 touch screen monitors, 12 across in the top and bottom rows and 14 across in the two middle rows.

On October 14, 2008, newlywed Michelle Loewenstein became the biggest winner on "Wheel of Fortune," winning $1 million. Until then, "The Bold and the Beautiful" star Jack Wagner and his partner Christine Denos of San Jose, Calif., were the big winners with $142,550 in cash and prizes during "Soap Stars Week" in 2006. Wagner donated his share to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

When athletes or celebrities appear, their winnings are donated to a charity of their choice. To date, Wheel of Fortune has donated over $5 million to charity.

"The Wheel" is framed with steel tube on which tiers of Plexiglas are placed supported by stainless steel rods. Over 200 specialized, computerized lighting instruments capable of up to 2 million different color choices are interwoven into the framework. It is all topped by the Wheel which spins on a stainless steel shaft supported by roller bearings. 73 stainless steel pins fly past three hard rubber "flippers" giving it an unmistakable sound. In all it weighs in at a little over 2,400 lbs. And because there is only one Wheel, it is dismantled and reassembled wherever the show travels to tape in a different location.
"Wheel of Fortune" is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Studios International, both units of CBS Corp. The show has been produced "locally" in 45 territories. International broadcasters license the format rights and produce the show in their own languages.

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Network: Syndicated
Genre: Game Show
Runtime: 30 mins.
Premiere Date: September 19, 1983
Seasons: 30
Theme Song:
"Changing Keys" written by Merv Griffin
Production Company: Sony Pictures Television

Pat Sajak, Vanna White and Alex Trebek Renew Contracts — The trio will play on and continue to host "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" through the 2015-16 season. Read more...

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